Venoms of Ectoparasitic Wasps
The complex interactions that occur between ectoparasitic wasps and their hosts ultimately lead to altered host development, physiology, and behavior. Precisely how these host changes come about is poorly understood, but in most cases involving ectoparasitic wasps, a venom is injected into the host. Venoms of ectoparasitic non-aculeate Hymenoptera (“Parasitica”) fall into two categories based on the impact on the host: those that evoke paralysis and those that are non-paralytic. The vast majority of ectoparasitic species studied produce paralyzing venoms. Such species are considered idiobionts and the venom confers an adaptive advantage in the relationship with the host: a mobile host can be permanently or temporarily paralyzed during egg laying by the female wasp. A still-mobile host is also a potential threat to developing parasitoids, consequently these venoms are more often permanent paralyzing agents. Paralyzing venoms are typically produced by the adult female wasp, however, for...
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